Valley Works: Staffing agencies

FRESNO, California

More than a year ago we visited Pride Staff, a large staffing agency headquartered in Fresno, at that time the unemployment rate stood at 18 percent, and jobs were scarce.

"Companies were still kind of afraid to hire on employees permanently so the temporary route most companies were going," Pride Staff Strategic Partner Stefanie Schwartz said.

Fresno's unemployment rate is still high but the job market is improving.

"Those same companies are extremely busy we are placing people left and right," Schwartz said.

The industries hiring are mainly food processors and other manufacturing type companies they are looking to hire maintenance mechanics, welders, machinist and assembly production people, Schwartz said.

How hard? Ask Kim Mesfin, general manager at Central Valley Truck Center. The company is the dealer for Volvo and Mack Trucks in the Central Valley.

Mesfin said the challenge her company faces is qualified candidates aren't knocking on the door looking for a job.

"It's hard finding the candidates with the right skill set particular in the service department for say an advisors position," Mesfin said. "You have to have a blend of sales and administrative and computers and technical."

Schwartz said there is a shortage of workers with the right skill set, especially skilled labor and now that companies are ready to hire it's important that job-seekers be ready.

"We really need people to be able to articulate what they've been doing and why they believe they have the experience the company is looking for," Schwartz said.

Mesfin's company is huge, basically five businesses under one roof, with locations through-out the Central Valley. They offer a number of positions including financing, customer service, and technicians.

Mesfin said diesel mechanics are in huge demand and can make a very good salary. She encouraged people who might want to work for her company to come to their offices and fill out an application.

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